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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Mar 13;109(11):4227-32. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1117277109. Epub 2012 Feb 27.

Rapid creation of Arabidopsis doubled haploid lines for quantitative trait locus mapping.

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Department of Plant Biology, Genome Center, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA.


Quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping is a powerful tool for investigating the genetic basis of natural variation. QTL can be mapped using a number of different population designs, but recombinant inbred lines (RILs) are among the most effective. Unfortunately, homozygous RIL populations are time consuming to construct, typically requiring at least six generations of selfing starting from a heterozygous F(1). Haploid plants produced from an F(1) combine the two parental genomes and have only one allele at every locus. Converting these sterile haploids into fertile diploids (termed "doubled haploids," DHs) produces immortal homozygous lines in only two steps. Here we describe a unique technique for rapidly creating recombinant doubled haploid populations in Arabidopsis thaliana: centromere-mediated genome elimination. We generated a population of 238 doubled haploid lines that combine two parental genomes and genotyped them by reduced representation Illumina sequencing. The recombination rate and parental allele frequencies in our population are similar to those found in existing RIL sets. We phenotyped this population for traits related to flowering time and for petiole length and successfully mapped QTL controlling each trait. Our work demonstrates that doubled haploid populations offer a rapid, easy alternative to RILs for Arabidopsis genetic analysis.

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